Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross

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Marengo Cave Co. v. Ross
Court Supreme Court of Indiana
Date decided November 5, 1937


Marengo Cave was established in Indiana in 1880s. For the next 46 years, Marengo made improvements and charged admissions fees.

John Ross purchased a plot of land next to the Marengo Cave. Next, it was determined that the subterranean parts of Marengo encroach on the Ross land.

Procedural History

Ross sued Marengo to quiet title to portions of the cave underneath the Ross property.


Did Marengo Cave Company acquired title to the land through adverse possession?

Can land possession be considered open, notorious, & exclusive if the title holder was unaware of that possession?


Marengo countered that the cave had been acquired in its entirety in fee simple via adverse possession since the 1880s.


Adverse possession has to be evident to the title holder; adverse possession has to put the title holder on notice.

Ross wins.


The title holder should be able to readily see that his land rights are being deprived; otherwise, the possession won't meet the notorious & open elements of adverse possession.